Harith emerges as player to beat at U-13 grand final

Harith (second right) and the rest of the Sarawak team pose with Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia president Nik Razeen Daud (right, back row) committee member Andrew Muthu (right) and Sarawak head coach Andre Kho (left, back row) after the prize presentation.

KUCHING: Asian and Malaysia Boys U13 number one from Sarawak Harith Danial Jefri remains the player to beat in the grand finals of the Sportexcel-NSC-Milo Junior Squash Circuit at the National Squash Centre at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur from Oct 5 to 7.

The primary six pupil from SK Jalan Bintang, Miri qualified for the finale after winning the first leg of the circuit in July and the second leg last weekend.

This will be Harith’s first grand finals and joining him in the Boys U13 contest is his training mate from the Bintang Squash Academy in Miri, Wong Lee Hong who is Asian Boys U-13 number nine.

Only the top four players with points collected from both legs of the circuit gain automatic berths to the grand finals and they will be joined by invited players from other countries.

Harith, Lee Hong, Connor Loi, Nathan Kueh Tze Bing, Ma Si Yi and Hi Jia Rong were also called
up by SRAM to play in the 25th Asian Junior Individual Championships in Chennai, India from Sept 26 to 29.

Only Nathan has responded to the national call-up.

Harith will miss it as he will be sitting for his UPSR.

Meanwhile, at the second leg of the Sportexcel-NSC-Milo Junior Squash Circuit, Harith brushed aside all opposition to win the Boys U-13 title.

Competing in the field of 16 players, Harith opened his campaign with a 3-1 (11-6, 11-2, 11-3) win over Kamveer Singh Rajinder Singh from Selangor in the first round.

He went on to beat Perak’s Low Wa Sern 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-7) in the quarterfinals before deposing of Tristan Andreas Muyou Angkaus from Sabah 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-9) in the last four.

The final saw Harith easing to a 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-6) victory over joint third/fourth seed Melaka’s Veroon Heng.

Lee Hong, the number two seed, finished third after he beat Tristan Andreas 3-1 (11-9, 11-5, 2-11, 12-10) in the placings play-off.

Other Sarawakians playing in this leg were Claudia Yong Bi Er who finished sixth in the Girls U15 with Eugenia Sulan David (eighth) and Iris Chieng Shiao Yu (10th) while Chris Lau Hui Rong was seventh in the Boys U15 and Harith Irfan finished in 14th place in the same category.

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